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cosmicrat commented on a blog post

Regarding the statements that not everyone wants to have serious discussions, that is quite obvious.  My blog was not directed at them, nor to those who consistently react negatively to those who want to  make the world a friendlier place, to correct injustice, to increase tolerance and understanding.

Obviously, those who have nothing to say are perfectly free to say nothing.  That, too, is freedom of speech, just as the ability to reject belief in supernatural beings is an important aspect of freedom of religion.

I have no way of knowing how many people still visit this site, nor how many of those actually read what anyone else writes, or have thoughts about public issues.  I was hoping to reach a few, to stimulate some interest.  Perhaps it is in vain.

There may be a general impression that only those with strong ideological beliefs have valid ideas worth expressing and reading.  There are some whose rhetoric seems to imply that only their particular band of the political spectrum is the "way", and others to either the right or the left of them are ruthlessly attacked.  But, in fact, there is a wide range of thought among good people, from moderate incrementalists to radical anti-capitalists.  We may differ in our approaches, but we need to remember we are ON THE SAME SIDE.  We are FOR the people-- all of them.  That should unite us.  Debating the finer points is secondary.

For those with prejudices, yes, you have a right to them.  You don't have to LIKE black people, brown people, gay people, Muslims, Christians, Jews, or atheists.  What you DON'T have is the right to discriminate, deny them equal rights, or incite others to cause them harm.
I would hope you could learn to see everyone as a human being, and judge them individually, not as a group.  But if you express hate, expect to be called a hater, and part of the problem.

I think there might be, but it's awfully quiet. I'm not blaming the quiet ones. Silence is a valid reaction in a hostile envi
16 hours ago
3 days ago
cosmicrat added new blog post

I think there might be, but it's awfully quiet. I'm not blaming the quiet ones. Silence is a valid reaction in a hostile envi
3 days ago · 4 comments4 comments
cosmicrat commented on a blog post

I see two questions here: (1) Was he wrong?  Yes  (2) Was his firing a freedom-of-speech violation?  No.

It would be ideal if there were freedom of speech within employing organizations, but that isn't a part of the Constitutional protection of free speech in the public discourse.

You may or may not have heard of James Damore and his Google Memo but it is important.  James Damore was sacked from Google n
38 days ago
cosmicrat commented on a blog post

It sounds like injustice has been done in this case, but the statement "Obama's mandate has caused a lot of harm to men on college campuses falsely accused of sexual misconducts." is not shown to be true.

The fault in this case was poor handling of an investigation by college officials, not the mandate itself.  All sorts of laws and rules can be wrongly used, sometimes even by actual courts.  Innocent people have been convicted of murder, but that isn't blamed on the law.

Cases like this may have been unjust elsewhere, though you give no examples.  I'm sure you don't mean to say that actual rape and abuse at colleges shouldn't be strongly dealt with and prosecuted.  Some of those officials handling that may need more training and supervision to follow basic rules of justice.

A running gag on Monty Python was "No one expects the Spanish Inquisition." Today that can be replaced with "No one expects t
47 days ago
cosmicrat commented on a blog post

Well, that was a gesture of fairness to offer to hate "terrorists" of other religions, if only you could "see" any.  It is true that Christian terrorism, and racist terrorism, are less common than they once were.  When it does happen, I haven't heard specific disavowals by "mainstream" Christians, or white people.  There is no need for that, because no one thinks the extremists represent the whole religion or race.  They are condemned for what they have done, not because they might make the rest of us look guilty.

There was a time not too long ago that Irish Catholics used terrorism against the British over Northern Ireland.  A number of Irish Americans were raising money to support them.  That was wrong, or course, but those terrorists did have sympathizers.

We do hear more about terrorism by Muslims in recent years.  Could that be be because the countries the US and allies have attacked, occupied, overthrown, and otherwise abused, and the people the Israelis have occupied and oppressed, for quite some time, are almost all Muslim ones?  Just a coincidence, perhaps.

While that doesn't excuse killing innocent civilians, it does provide a motive.  Of course when our side kills innocent civilians, that's called "collateral damage".

Back when the Russians were occupying Afghanistan, our side was financing and encouraging terrorists to expel them.  It worked, too.  We labeled them insurgents, or even "freedom fighters", of course.  Labels are relative.

Terrorism does have a definition, though.  Targeting civilians because they're vulnerable is terrorism.  Attacking the other side's military, or defending against that military, may be war, rebellion, or insurgency, but not terrorism.  

Khadr, the original subject of this post, was not acting as a terrorist.  He may not have actually harmed anyone-- that's not known, but he was part of a group in Afghanistan being attacked by, and defending against a foreign military, the US.  As far as he was concerned, having lived there since age 9, that was his home.  The "winner" gets to make the rules, so after being shot, then saved, he is not a POW, but treated as a criminal, though not actually tried for a crime.

What would you have done in his situation?

It's reasonable to hate an actual terrorist, guilty of an even worse crime than waging war for no good reason, but shouldn't we be sure that the accused actually did, or attempted, the crime?  That's why there are supposed to be trials-- so we know who we can legitimately hate.

Of course if you'd rather just pick a religion, a skin color, or a national origin to hate, go for it.  No one can tell you what (or whether) to think.

The following is quoted from a Facebook post, for 2 reasons. First, it is about an issue in Canada, and the author of the pos
51 days ago